Charles J. Ping
Photographer: Tyler Stabile
Nov 14, 2013
Article by Katie Hendershot; Photos by Tyler Stabile
Ohio University Libraries honored the University's 18th president, Dr. Charles Ping, in an invitation-only ceremony Nov. 7 to celebrate the release of a book based on the transcripts of Ping's conversations with Dr. Samuel Crowl.
Hosted by Ohio University Libraries and the Ohio University Foundation Board, the event featured an exclusive guest list, including past Ohio University presidents, current President Roderick J. McDavis and his wife, members of Ping's family and other University dignitaries.
"I'm so happy to be here tonight to celebrate both Charlie and Claire Ping. They did a really outstanding job when they were here," Dr. Vernon Alden, OHIO's 15th president, said. "It's exciting to be back and see all these friends."
The main event of the evening was a question-and-answer session on stage that allowed guests an opportunity to see a preview of the book, with Crowl asking Ping questions similar to the ones asked in the book. Crowl is a current trustee professor emeritus and the former chair of Faculty Senate and dean of University College. Ping's answers reflected on his tenure as president of the University from 1975-1994.
"It gave a real flavor about what the book is about because the book really is a conversation between two friends, kind of reminiscing about Athens and Ohio University in the 1970s," Scott Seaman, dean of Ohio University Libraries, said.
Ping led the University during tumultuous times and is known for having made many impactful decisions that kept the University strong.
Some stories he told were humorous in nature and were well-received by audience members, including the story of Ohio University's sister school in Japan, Chubu University, asking for squirrels from College Green.
"The memoirs of our past presidents are extremely important to preserve," Seaman said. "This is a 210-year-old institution. There's not many universities that are that old. Dr. Ping is one of the longest-serving presidents in Ohio University's history and to have those stories preserved for the next 200 years is really important."
Prior to the main event, guests spent time mingling amongst themselves and greeting one another like old friends. Smiles and laughter were plentiful, with the room humming with chatter.
The fourth floor of the library was transformed into an elegant space full of autumn-themed centerpieces, giving the room small bursts of pink, red, orange and green hues.
Live music was provided on keyboard by senior music education major Caleb Miller. Memories of Ping's presidency were on display in the form of banners, a photo slideshow and other mementos.
Ping was honored by the amount of people who were there in support of his accomplishment. He enjoyed using the opportunity to share stories with everyone.
At the conclusion of the evening, each guest received a copy of the book "A Conversation about Ohio University and the Presidency, 1975-1994" signed by Ping. The book was jointly published by Ohio University Libraries and the Ohio University Press.
"The book is a conversation between two old friends about years and events they shared from 1975 to 1994," Ping said.
Members of the OHIO community interested in meeting Ping and learning more about his time as Ohio University's president may attend the next Authors@Alden event scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, on the fourth floor of Alden Library.
Scott Seaman, dean of Ohio University Libraries, introduces President Emeritus Dr. Charles J. Ping and Professor Emeritus Dr. Samuel Crowl at "An Evening with Dr. Charles J. Ping," which was held Nov. 7 on the fourth floor of Alden Library.
From left, Ohio University Professor Emeritus Dr. Samuel Crowl and President Emeritus Dr. Charles J. Ping pose for a portrait after their discussion during "An Evening with Dr. Charles J. Ping" on Nov. 7. The event marked the release of "A Conversation about Ohio University and the Presidency, 1975-1994," a book that details Ping's 19-year tenure as OHIO president and is based on a series of videotaped discussions between Crowl and Ping.
From left, former Ohio University Presidents Dr. Charles J. Ping and Dr. Vernon R. Alden shake hands at "An Evening with Dr. Charles J. Ping," held on the fourth floor of Alden Library, named after OHIO's 15th president.
Former Ohio University First Lady Claire Ping listens to the discussion at the Nov. 7 event honoring her husband and OHIO's 18th president. Several members of the Ping family attended the event.
Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis introduces President Emeritus Dr. Charles J. Ping and Professor Emeritus Dr. Samuel Crowl at "An Evening with Charles J. Ping."
OHIO President Emeritus Dr. Charles J. Ping poses for a photo with Dr. John Brose, dean emeritus of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and current vice provost for health affairs and special assistant to the executive vice president and provost.
From left, Dean Emeritus of Ohio University Libraries Dr. Hwa Wei-Lee, Trustee Emerita Charlotte Eufinger and Mary Lee visit during “An Evening with Dr. Charles J. Ping.”
Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis poses for a photo with former Ohio governor and U.S. senator and OHIO alumnus George Voinovich and his wife, Janet Voinovich.